The Minister leading the new hospital project has responded to comments from a local pressure group arguing that the £805m budget should be reduced.
Deputy Chief Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham had this to say...
Thank you for the opportunity to reply to the letter submitted by Peter Funk, on behalf of ‘Friends of Our Hospital’.
As I stated last week, when the updated designs of the new hospital and images of the enhancements to Westmount Road were made public, we are on the brink of delivering our much-needed new hospital.
Thanks to the input and support of our clinicians and medical professionals, from islanders and through the hard work of those determined to deliver this project, we have now reached the eve of one of the most important States debates for decades. The result of the debate over the funding of our hospital will have a long-lasting and immeasurable impact on Islanders for generations to come.
Pictured: The current design for the future hospital.
The project team have diligently and thoroughly analysed the level of investment necessary to complete the project. The costs have been meticulously scrutinised by the Project Team, the Political Oversight Group, Government officers and by independent advisors appointed to assure Jersey is getting good value for money. Those involved have a thorough understanding of the complexities of designing and delivering our hospital and health estate and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
I would like to be clear; reducing the budget by £250m at this point is unrealistic and will bring the project to a halt. The new hospital would become undeliverable and all of the valuable work undertaken so far will have gone to waste. Further delays will achieve only one thing - increasing the costs even more.
At this critical stage we must adhere to the facts and resist any attempts to derail the project through assumption and the spreading of misinformation. Whilst respecting the strongly held views of some islanders, it is now time to put aside our differences and work together to deliver the hospital on time and within the budget.
Yes, this is a significant investment for Jersey but I, along with the vast majority of islanders, are in no doubt that this is an essential investment for Jersey and must be delivered without further delay.
Senator Lyndon Farnham
Deputy Chief Minister / Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture